Contact: Christie McNeal
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University School of Architecture Associate Professor Alexis Gregory is the recipient of the 2023 PCI Foundation Community Engagement Award.
Gregory, who also was awarded a $100,000 grant in 2020 from the nonprofit organization to incorporate precast and prestressed concrete projects into MSU architecture courses, was nominated for the award by PCI Gulf South Executive Director Dan Eckenrode.
In his letter to the selection committee, Eckenrode said, “Alexis’ dedication to community engagement through the PCI Foundation Studio makes her the embodiment of what it means to be a PCI Foundation Studio professor.”
Gregory’s nomination focused on her Spring 2022 work with Collaborative Studio–the PCI Foundation Studio–where she developed a project for students to work with Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity to design affordable housing with precast concrete. The organization is currently using ideas developed by the students during the studio, including exploring how precast concrete can enhance the safety and stability of Habitat houses in the event of a hurricane.
Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Amanda Henry said in her letter of support, “Professor Gregory understands the importance of making students aware of what is going on in the community where they attend college and instilling a heart for service that the students will carry with them wherever they end up after graduation. At Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity, we agree that this is an essential component of a complete education.”
Gregory’s teaching and research interests include construction technology and making, community engagement and service-learning, community design, and diversity in architecture.
“Alexis has been able to provide students the ability to explore how the design profession serves people through her community-based projects, yet simultaneously she has enabled students to learn about precast concrete—how it is made, how it is able to be used, and the designer’s role in its formation. This breadth of learning serves future designers well,” said School of Architecture Director and F.L. Crane Professor Karen Cordes Spence.
Gregory is a registered architect and earned a Master of Science in Architecture with a concentration in women’s studies and history from Clemson University and a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech. Her professional experience includes professional licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia and 10 years working in various architecture ﬁrms in Washington, D.C.
“Engaging community partners as part of my teaching is something I did before receiving the PCI Foundation Studio Grant and is something I plan to continue to do in my future teaching and research,” said Gregory.
PCI's mission is "to foster educational initiatives focused on innovative approaches to integrated and sustainable use of precast concrete design, fabrication and construction.” For more information, visit www.pci-foundation.org.
The MSU School of Architecture offers the only National Architecture Accrediting Board professional architecture degree in Mississippi. Read more at www.caad.msstate.edu.
Mississippi State University is taking care of what matters. Learn more at www.msstate.edu.